Day 99: off to the Cotswolds

We are doing it, we are leaving our Battersea bubble and getting on a train out of London. I am filled with apprehension, slight fear but also so damn excited to see my parents.

That is the reason for the visit. Now we are able to stay over at peoples houses I was straight on the phone to my mum to work out the best time to visit. We looked at hiring a car for the weekend but it was too expensive. So here we are sat on a far busier train than I had expected to the Cotswolds.

We decided we weren’t ready to tackle a train & tube to get to Paddington then to sit on a train for 1.5 hours so treated ourselves to an uber to the station. Due to road works he dropped us just outside conveniently by a cafe. Tea please. We had been told via the grapevine that nothing was open in the station except W H Smiths and Boots so we thought we would take the opportunity to grab a cuppa.

Grabbed a cuppa from here as very little Is open one the station.

Tea in hand we walked to the station entrance, social distancing signs everywhere. We would normally be getting the train to my parents on a Friday evening post work, where it’s just a sea of people, crowds rushing to the trains as the platform is announced to get a seat. Even on a Saturday morning it’s busy, usually day trippers to Oxford or Bristol, but today it was quiet. Busier than I had perhaps expected, but weirdly quiet compared to normal.

It’s been a while Paddington
Weirdly quiet compared to a normal Saturday
Signs everywhere reminding people of safety steps

The majority of people were wearing masks in the station, but there were still a few who were not, which is selfish. Especially when there was a stand set up giving them away to people for their journey. I was surprised to see this but pleased. The stations know that masks are not an option for some people when they are struggling to survive on furlough or unemployment benefits. Keeping yourself up to date with PPE is expensive. We got a box of medical disposable masks from boots this week ( for train journeys) – 25 masks for £15! The reusable ones online can cost anything from £2.50 to £10. If you are on limited income how to you buy a set for your family?? Why isn’t the government like other European countries offering people free reusable masks?

Masks being given out to those that need them

Our platform went up and everyone smoothly and distanced pasted through the barriers, all very civilised. We walked down to the last carriage which was quiet but by the time the train left was quite busy. Not a seat free around us. It was lots of people travelling together so they want to sit with each other. But everyone does seem to have their mask on, which is compulsory. No one walked through the train to check, so how is this being policed?

Masked and ready to go. Anti Bac gel and wipes at the ready!
A much busier carriage than expected. After walking through to the toilet, only a couple of 2 seaters are free.

Overall it’s been an ok journey. Not sure I want to be doing this too much but I guess I need to accept that until we have a vaccine this could be the way we travel from now on.

Hello countryside!

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